With the unveiling of the iPhone 4 this summer, there was a fairly significant app revealed from Apple: iMovie for iPhone. This app allows for users to take any previously recorded videos or any videos recorded on-the-fly and edit them to make high-quality movies without ever needing a computer. This app was set to release for the iPhone 4 the day of its launch, and it was immediately embraced by many iPhone users as a top-of-the-line application from Apple. The question is, however, is this app the best at what it does?
Upon searching for other video-editing apps for the iPhone and any other iDevices, another app that does the same task can be found in the mix of the thousands of App Store apps: ReelDirector. This app allows for the ability to edit videos to be available to any of the other iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads, instead of just the new iPhone 4. Aside from the freedom to be used on any of these devices, ReelDirector comes with many nifty features and gets the job done just as iMovie does.
Which of these apps is worth its $4.99 price-tag, though? Both applications have their readily apparent strengths and weaknesses, but through comparison, it may be easier to find which one is more suited for any individual iPhone user.
The Pros of iMovie
The biggest feature that stands out for iMovie is its high-definition capabilities. This app is capable of using the HD videos recorded on the iPhone 4 and rendering and exporting in 720p HD. This is not found in any other app to date. iMovie allows for multiple projects to be saved and worked on at anytime, and it allows for media to be taken from the library of files on the phone or recoded directly into the time line of the video being edited. The time line can be played without any lag whatsoever, and with all of the edits performed applied in the preview. Pre-set themes are available, and each theme allows for an option in music, transitions, and other features. Titles can be added at the beginning, middle, and end of any video, and their styles are determined by the theme chosen. Another nifty feature is that every geo-tagged video will display the location at which the video was taken in the editing by default.
The Cons of iMovie
Though this app is made by the very creative Apple, it lacks in a few departments. The biggest problem of the application is that it has too many limitations. There are only two transitions to choose from at anytime while editing: the chosen theme’s transition and Cross Dissolve. The default song of each theme is usually short, and audio cannot even be edited, so it is impossible to extend the length of these default songs. There are five themes, so depending on preference, this may be a limitation as well. There are no title screens, so fading in from black or having an all black screen with text is impossible unless if a recording in a pitch-black area is used (with flash off, of course!).
The Pros of ReelDirector
The biggest plus for ReelDirector is how many options it gives. As soon as a new project is created, an opening title can be created, closing credits can be created, an opening transition can be chosen, the quality can be chosen, and whether all clips are re-encoded can be toggled. For the titles and credits, subtitles can be made, font style can be chosen, font sizes can be changed, the length the text appears can be altered, the positioning of the text can be chosen from not locations on screen, and the style of background for the text can be changed from eight options. All of these features can be changed at any point in the video editing process, and all of the font and title features can be found in any font or title added later in any part of the video. Video and photos can be added from the library, sounds can be recorded directly into the time line, music can be imported from an outside wifi source, and items can be imported from the pasteboard. A great amount of options are also given in the transitions available since there are twenty-eight to choose from, including blurs, fades, wipes, and pushes. Some other unique features of the app include splitting video, fading audio in or out, panning videos and photos, repositioning videos and photos, flipping and rotating videos and photos, cropping videos and photos, and adding multiple pieces of audio to manipulate.
The Cons of ReelDirector
A feature that may be disappointing to iPhone 4 users is the lack of HD rendering and exporting; this app only allows 480p as the highest quality. Another noticeable problem is the lag involved with previewing video, in which video looks choppy while playing the work that has been edited (you can preview the whole project from outside the editing screen, however, and this feature plays full-speed). There is no geo-tagging for the videos, which may make some travel videos less appealing on this app. The interface is not-so-appealing, but it does get the job done through its simplicity. Trimming videos is a slightly harder task to do on this app in comparison to iMovie as well.
Overall, both apps do portable video editing justice, but depending on the features and capabilities, one may be more appropriate for one user and less for another. Keep in mind, however, that both apps can be used to make one movie with the proper planning, and this may take care of any weaknesses one may have.